The Depressing Options of a Wonderful Life – By a #Insiders4Good Fellow

Hi, I’m  Paula Aliu representing Cogno-Aid, one of the 25 Nigerian Fellows of The #Insiders4Good program. Cogno-Aid is a start-up that aims to connect People to licensed Therapist from the comfort of wherever they might be. To get more info on Cogno-Aid here is our website : http://cogno-aidcdm.azurewebsites.net/
Here are some thoughts I would love to share with the community.

Jane’s Options:

I went to visit my Mum in her place of work, she wasn’t on seat when I got there, I poured myself a drink and proceeded to do some work while she was out. She came back some minutes later and I noticed she looked pensive? I asked her what was wrong.
Long story short, she had a discussion with a close friend of hers. She proceeded to ask me “that Nigerian coming of Age question for most girls” When will you marry? What struck me was she didn’t say it with the nagging impression typically attached with that question. It was more like a she was trying to answer something within her if that makes sense.  I asked her why she was asking, I was concerned and second I wanted to deflect the question, she might not be ready to listen to my answer and I was not sure I could convey my answer properly.

She relayed to me the story of how her friend’s sister was in a serious relationship with a man when she was 18, this said man was interested in marrying her and to an extent she was all for it. Her father was adamant that she waits still she was older. The suitor couldn’t wait and pressured her but her father won the ‘fight’. The suitor left and went on to marry an available and ready girl. Now this was 20 plus years ago, her sister is now in her early 40s unwed, sad about it and blaming her father for her current situation.

My mum looked at me and said, I am not for early marriage but if that girl married earlier she would have been happy. I agreed immediately but something struck me, how is anyone sure if she married her suitor she would be happy, I mean she could have married him and on an extreme end he could be a serial killer, rapist, wife and child beater, the list is endless. On another end, she herself could down the line have grown and found out she was not compatible with him and proceeded to frustrate the marriage in retaliation for the perceived wrong of ‘snatching away her youth’ she feels she had been handed, she was 18 after all and still naïve in the ways of the world. She also could have had a wonderful marriage full of love, and happiness and all the trappings and beauty Telemundo love stories feed us constantly, beautiful children and the lot. She also could have been in an okay marriage, you know the ones with some little squabbles, they are okay with each other, they don’t kiss and show their love like Titanic or Telenovelas but they kiss just as much as society requires or is okay with, hey, at least they are better than their neighbours.

I relayed this to my Mum, she pondered on it a while and seemed at peace. While we can say, she is unhappy now. We can’t be a 100% sure she would have been happier if she married then, now can we? However, we can at least try to agree on this, whatever the issues we could choose the options in which the combination of downsides is what we can live with.

John’s Options
I was in a hurry to finish my BSc and get going with my MSc. Guess What? I got it, I am done with my MSc and I got distinctions in both endeavours, and I am without a Job. I assumed since I was smart with the right grades, I would easily get a Job in the UK after my Masters, I applied and applied and applied. Nothing, not even a mistake email was sent to my spam mail. Naira is dropping faster than the time it took for me to strip my pants when sand ants used to bite me on my bum when I was younger. I am back in the country smiling at my parent’s friends when they praise my academic prowess that has not put money in my pocket but has certainly removed millions from my parents. I have failed pure and simple. I should not have wasted money on this masters thing. “All Na wash!” as the Nigerian slang would have it. I have put money in their pocket and they have kicked me out. I have no job no prospects. Civil service is not even employing yet! and it’s not that they will pay well.
I should have joined Ade my friend to start that music producing stuff. We used to laugh at him when he will claim he was asking you nicely to download and listen to his data grubbing demo songs, when he was more like forcing it down your throat. But see now he is rubbing shoulders with all the hip-hop stars and driving the latest cars, he is a professional world certified ‘Baba Babes’. I don’t even know how a brand-new car smells talk more of having a member of the opposite sex to mistakenly cast their eyes on me romantically. I am more like Baba Broke. Even James has upgraded from his Yahoo days and has a legit company now. I was looking down on him like I was better than him. Now, if he looks down, he won’t see me because of how out of his levels I have fallen. 3 years, he has a company and is taking care of his parents, 3 years after my masters and I am 100% dependent on my parents and can’t even get an entry job. See Pastor Olu, all his holier than thou ways has given him a growing ‘happening’ church, people are gifting him luxury cars and other items I can’t even dream of and I am here driving the car my parents struggled to buy five years after their marriage and they have been married for 28 years!
“Lord, my Life!!!!” I scream, my sister rushes in to find out what is happening.
“John what is wrong?”
“Nothing! I am just thinking of how messed up my life is. And all the options I missed with Ade, James and Olu.”
“Are you listening to yourself, Ade was into music you can’t even muster interest in music talk more of producing songs and heaven forbid you open your mouth to sing….’
“Jane stop insulting me”
“John let’s face it, we all in this house have the voice that only a mother will say sounds like an angel. You are thinking of James and his Yahoo business, are you serious have you seen a Nigerian jail before? You wouldn’t last a day in there and James has spent some time there, are you forgetting the scar he got from his last visit there. Olu has soaked himself in the Bible and Christianity, if he has a calling or not it’s not my place to say but we both know you are no were from being called to serve the lord. Look, relax and find something you want, start on it, push as hard as you can, if it works fine, if it doesn’t try something else and try and think outside money and all other trappings that come with it. Yes, it’s important but other things are too. Stop wishing and day dreaming, reflect and learn from your past and use that knowledge to influence your future. Don’t spend the better part of your life living in what-if land”.
Writer’s Reflections
Sometimes, I wish life could really be black or white or at least a finite number of Colours. If you remember the multiple-choice questions we were/are used to in our Educational lives, they were finite: sometimes 5 or less, I wish life was like that at least so I know one of the 5 options is the right one. That would greatly minimize mistakes won’t it. But guess what, I am still wishing and life still has an infinite number of colours between black and white and what is more upsetting is all of them could be wrong.
Life is wonderful and hard, sweet and frustrating, fair and unfair. Life is life. I get depressed and sometimes hopelessly sad about various things in life. Am I doing the right things that will aid or better my future, wait what is in my future or do I even have a future? Anxiety, going back to our previous posts. And yes, these thoughts affect my decisions and judgement sometimes and it seems to spread thin to other faucets of not only my life but people surrounding me.
That’s where I revert to quiet meditation and seeking therapy to help me navigate through my life, through these means I realised I will probably never find the “Right Answer to issues I face” but I be better equipped to make decisions on what works for me and how I can cope with the available options.
For that reason, I want to share with you some Videos by the School Of Life : https://youtu.be/D2pZKTUvht4

18 thoughts on “The Depressing Options of a Wonderful Life – By a #Insiders4Good Fellow

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